Whether it’s accepting a check made out in the technician’s name (and not the company’s), or trying to use a generic part of a brand appliance instead of a a factory part, there are many ways consumers may get scammed or tricked by people purporting to be qualified appliance technicians.
With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to pull a fast one over someone, especially when it comes to repair service. However, by being aware of just a handful of important things to look our for, you can keep yourself safe from being swindled.
1. Craigslist is a no-no
With Craigslist, you really don’t see what you’re going to get when it comes to service. And while using a handyman isn’t necessarily frowned upon, when it comes to most appliances (like refrigerators and microwaves), you’re going to want someone qualified, certified and experienced in your home, not a stranger off the Internet.
2. Never sign a blank check over, or make a check out to the repairman’s name
If your repairman is asking you to write a check to him and not out to his business or the company he’s with, you could be paying someone for a service they may not be qualified to do.
3. Don’t pay upfront
Unless it’s the deposit to order a part or unless you’re a longtime customer, if a company asks you to pay upfront, you may never see your money, or service, again.
4. Appearance matters
If a repairman comes to your home in something other than a uniform and work boots, he’s likely not with a reputable company, or at the very least probably isn’t a true professional.
5. Don’t accept an estimate over the phone
If your appliance business or technician promises to give an estimate for a repair without looking at the appliance first, turn the other way! It’s impossible for a knowledgeable technician to diagnose the precise issue, and therefore cost to fix, of any given problem you may have with your appliance. An appliance contains countless parts and connections and configurations that may be causing your issue, and so it’s critical for the repairman to see the unit and diagnose it properly in order to be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong and what you’ll need (just like a doctor!).